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Business Insurer: UK SMBs Hit by 65,000 Cyberattacks Daily


Small businesses in the U.K. are flooded with an estimated 65,000 cyberattacks every day, according to data compiled by Hiscox, a Bermuda-headquartered business insurer, the London-based Insurance Times reported.

Despite the high volume of attacks, Hiscox, an underwriter at Lloyd's of London, figures that 52 percent of U.K. SMBs have neither devised nor put in place a reliable cybersecurity strategy. The frequency of attacks and the under-served market make it an obvious opportunity for managed security service providers (MSSPs) to introduce themselves to U.K.'s SMBs.

To compile its data, Hiscox, operating as would a cybersecurity researcher, monitored in real-time the total number of attempted attacks on three honeypot computer systems similar to those used by SMBs in the U.K., the report said. The attack volume ranged from 900 to 359,000 per day, the data showed.

Here’s some additional Hiscox’s findings (via the Insurance Times):

  • Roughly one in three U.K. SMBs are successfully hacked each year, which translates to about 4,500 successful attacks per day.
  • Some 56 percent of those that suffer a breach are the victim of multiple attacks, according to the insurer.
  • Yet, two thirds of those attacked said they have made no changes to their security profile to prevent future breaches.
  • The average losses to U.K. SMBs from cyber attacks last year was $33,500 (£25,700) per business, not included losses suffered from damaged reputations caused by hackers.

“We know small businesses in the U.K. are hot targets for cyber criminals and these figures highlight the alarming extent of this,” said James Brady, head of cyber, Hiscox U.K. and Ireland. “Most small businesses recognize the threat that cyber criminals pose on a global scale, but are less convinced of the risks facing their own operations, considering themselves ‘too small’ to be worthy targets, but this just isn’t the case.”

Because so many U.K. SMBs lack an effective cyber strategy, when victimized by an attack the damage can be “disproportionality severe,” Brady said. Relying on MSSPs to build and maintain a credible security profile is a viable option, he said. “Outsourcing cyber security management is one option as this can be a more cost effective way to access instant, scalable resources in the event of an attack.”

To raise cybersecurity awareness for small businesses, Hiscox is live streaming on its website a running total of the number of attempted attacks and also broadcasting the figures live on 100 billboards across the U.K. this week, the Insurance Times report said.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.